Bye Bye Batwoman
My friend Hisham loaned me a couple issues of Greg Rucka’s Detective Comics: Batwoman run, and after reading through, I decided this series might be a gateway into the DC comics superhero world. I actually started scanning the interwebs for news of a series devoted to Kate Kane.
Sadly – this is not to be. At least not a version penned by Greg Rucka.
Many of you might have already heard – Greg Rucka has left DC Comics. Not just the Detective Comics series – he is dropping any books he was writing for them. Here is a post from his website explaining his reasons.
This follows quickly on the heels of my learning last week that the Spider-Woman series will be limited to only seven issues, as Alex Maleev, the artist is unable to continue with the demands of the motion-comic and the physical product. But Bendis assures us she’ll be in Avengers. Doesn’t that make you want to run out and pick up a copy?
Not me. Not really. If my post last week didn’t clarify my reservations about getting into female superhero comics, the blows dealt to heroines in the last month should help reinforce my hesitation. Not only are superheroes complicated investments of time and money, but the female-centric books are cancelled after brief stints, despite popularity, awards, steady sales and accolades heaped on them.
It’s sad to think that women may only fair well as characters in an alternate universe where we have equal standing with men. Perhaps my disillusion with superhero comic books these last few weeks is merely a symptom of my greater disillusionment with gender inequality in society.
It’s hard to blame dudes like Bendis and Rucka for trying to bring fully realized female characters into the spotlight. It’s not their fault they can’t rewrite reality.
But women aren’t asking male comic book writers to magically gift us equality, we’re simply requesting women characters with as much intelligence, strength and intrigue as men. We want women who are strong, like the mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, co-workers, and friends that surround us.
The kind of equality I seek is not in completely abolishing the unique aspects of gender that make men and women different. Those elements help create personality and character depth. What most comic books need is a writer who can create human beings with depth, nuances and character struggles. And then make an equal number of these human beings female.
Lastly it’s up to the artists to clothe them properly.
It’s a simple formula, but one that takes an incredible amount of work. It requires that you respect the experiences and viewpoints of people with whom you do not share the same sex. It might also require more females writing comic books. Sadly, it seems that none of these are things DC or Marvel or many of the smaller publishers want to commit their resources to.
That’s fine – I’ll commit my time and money to those who do.